January 4, 2021
Port Alberni, BC- The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) would like to send our deepest condolences to the family and communities of late Harry Lucas (mit) who was a very well respected and loved man by many, near and far.
Harry’s knowledge was immense and he was always so happy to share what he knew with those wishing to learn. He spoke the Hesquiaht dialect fluently as well as had the ability to write our Nuu-chah-nulth language. Harry worked with NTC for many years providing translating services to our meetings so that our speakers could speak in our language and non-speakers could understand what was being said. It was this important skill that Harry possessed, and he was able to play a critical role during the BC Treaty process in the later 1990s, where he was a language translator.
We thank Harry for his critical role in this important work documenting our history as well as the many gifts he shared with people throughout his life.
Harry was on his way home to the Hesquiaht village of Hot Springs Cove on New Years Eve, when family began to worry, as he had not arrived at home, and it was uncharacteristic of him to not communicate with family throughout his travels. An extensive search began that evening by Hesquiaht, and Ahousaht emergency response teams, Tla-o-qui-aht, and the Canadian Coast Guard. Two days into the extensive search, Harry was found near the entrance of Hot Springs Cove. The NTC would really like to thank everyone who helped in any way in the search for Harry. Your immediate and ongoing response was deeply appreciated.
Harry was 80 years old. He will be remembered as a well-respected father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, nephew, fisherman, friend, husband, language activist, and much more. Our love and strength are sent to all who grieve this sad loss.
President Judith Sayers states, “Harry Lucas will be missed by Nuu-chah-nulth. Harry strongly believed in exercising our rights and took advantage of every opportunity to do so. He lived his teachings.”
Vice-president Mariah Charleson adds, “What a tragic loss for our Nuu-chah-nulth Nation. Harry held immense knowledge and he will be missed dearly and remembered fondly by many. I’m deeply honored I got to share smiles and laughter with him.”